Topic: California/California State University

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Carolyn Shoemaker has died

United States Biography California Women scientists Biography/science and academia Astronomy United States/Arizona Solar System California/California State University

Carolyn Jean Spellmann Shoemaker (June 24, 1929 – August 13, 2021) was an American astronomer and a co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9. She once held the record for most comets discovered by an individual.

Although Shoemaker earned degrees in history, political science and English literature, she had little interest in science until she met and married geologist Eugene M. ("Gene") Shoemaker in 1950–51. She later said that his explanations of his work thrilled her. Despite her relative inexperience and lack of a science degree, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) had no objection to her joining Gene's team there as a research assistant. She had already shown herself to be unusually patient, and demonstrated exceptional stereoscopic vision, which were particularly valuable qualities for looking for objects in near-Earth space.

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